At 22, I Learned To Trust My Gut

Photo Credit: Jordan Wozy (@J_Wozy)

On December 11th I rang in my 23rd birthday. To some it may just seem like another notch on the belt, but to me it was a reflection of what the last year has been.

I graduated college, launched a podcast, went on the road for 3 tours, and I’m actually living the life I once dreamt of. Six months ago I had no direction in terms of “what’s next for me?”

While 98% of my graduating class went into careers… something told me the time wasn’t right. I had the podcast idea but nothing solid. There was a chance my talented friend Dylan Reese was going to be heading on the road, but nothing was locked in. There was a lot up in the air and I knew that once I jumped into a career it was going to be much harder to get out and walk away.

The key for me was following my gut.

Three weeks after graduating college I hit the road for a seven city tour of the Northeast. Philadelphia, PA had the best cheesesteaks in the entire world. Virginia Beach, VA was beautiful whereas Richmond, VA didn’t seem like a place I’d plan to return. Stanhope, NJ was special and Hampton, CT made me eager to get home, being a boy from MA. There was no better feeling than the last two shows of the tour in Northampton & Boston, MA. They were our roots and Boston was now my home away from home (Western Mass). It showed me that things were heading in the right direction.

On August 31st, I launched Episode 1 of Purpose in the Youth podcast. It was a day that I will never forget because it was the first time I had actually followed through with an idea I had. After releasing the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd episodes, it became a part of my life. I wasn’t making money off of it, but I felt like I was paying it forward and hoped it would help give people direction in their lives. As of December 15, over 5,600+ plays with a total of 15 episodes.

On September 11th we got back on the road for two quick shows in Buffalo & Syracuse NY. A week later Dylan & I flew out of Logan Airport in Boston, to the midwest, to do shows in Indianapolis, IN; Bloomington, IL; Colorado Springs, CO; & Omaha, NE. There were nothing but cornfields in sight for miles out there.

After Omaha, I returned back to Boston for 15 days to rest up & get ready for the next run. The alarm went off at 5:45am & I found myself back at Logan with my bag packed, not sure if I was ready for what was up next. This time I was with another MA artist, TJ Hickey.

Have you ever seen that one guy running through the airport to catch his flight? Yeah, that was me. With about ten seconds to spare, I made it. The woman working the gate read my sweatshirt and said, “You’re quite the Rare Breed.” I took it as a compliment.

The tour started in the midwest, in Madison, WI. This time around I went in thinking I was going to be the tour manager like the previous two tours. Make sure everything was running smooth and people were happy. I referred to myself as “hospitality manager” but soon enough found myself rocking onstage as the world’s most unofficial DJ.

We rocked out in Bloomington & Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Pittsburgh, PA; Portland, ME; & finally ended in Boston, MA. It was a ride to say the least.

Pictures capture just one specific moment in time. Never the same moment.

The one above captures someone that had dreams back in high school to tour the country. Someone that never really found himself or discovered his purpose until he was 22 years old. Someone that had surrounded himself with the right people in the hopes it would eventually all work out. Someone who stayed true to who he was even when everyone was leading him to become someone he wasn’t.

Someone who had found true happiness. That someone is me.

22 allowed me to lay the foundation and helped me realize what actually lies ahead. 23 will be the year I take it to the next level.

Follow your heart & listen to your gut.